Title: Chairman and CEO
Company: Sara Lee
Company rank: 203
Compensation: $8.7 million
When Brenda Barnes was hired to lead Sara Lee in 2005, she noticed there were too many cooks in the kitchen. Headcount, especially at the management level, needed to come down. The 22-year PepsiCo vet has steered Sara Lee into leaner territory by cutting and consolidating (Sara Lee's portfolio once included undergarment-maker, Hanes, among its namesake cakes and pies).
Having trimmed the fat, Barnes is now dealing with skyrocketing wheat and corn prices. She hopes aggressive marketing, price increases and new food aisle arrivals like bite-size cheesecakes will help the $13 billion food conglomerate rebound from the 29% revenue drop it saw in 2007. NEXT: Andrea Jung